# Ian_C. comments on Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality - Less Wrong

68 31 January 2008 07:36PM

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Comment author: 31 January 2008 10:33:38PM 13 points [-]

I think the two box person is confused about what it is to be rational, it does not mean "make a fancy argument," it means start with the facts, abstract from them, and reason about your abstractions.

In this case if you start with the facts you see that 100% of people who take only box B win big, so rationally, you do the same. Why would anyone be surprised that reason divorced from facts gives the wrong answer?

Comment author: 09 June 2012 09:46:36AM 0 points [-]

Precisely. I've been reading a lot about the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem">Monty Hall problem</a> recently, and I feel that it's a relevant conundrum.

The confused rationalist will say: but my choice CANNOT cause a linear entaglement, the reward is predecided. But the functional rationalist will see that agents who one-box (or switch doors, in the case of Monty Hall) consistently win. It is demonstrably a more effective strategy. You work with the facts and evidence available to you. Regardless of how counter-intuitive the resulting strategy becomes.

Comment author: 09 June 2012 09:48:04AM 1 point [-]

Precisely. I've been reading a lot about the Monty Hall Problem recently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem), and I feel that it's a relevant conundrum.

The confused rationalist will say: but my choice CANNOT cause a linear entaglement, the reward is predecided. But the functional rationalist will see that agents who one-box (or switch doors, in the case of Monty Hall) consistently win. It is demonstrably a more effective strategy. You work with the facts and evidence available to you and abstract out from there. Regardless of how counter-intuitive the resulting strategy becomes.